I forget where I first saw lighted Christmas balls but it was at least 3-5 years ago. Since I saw them I kept thinking we needed to make some. Now that we have made them, I’ve been just a *tad* obsessed. To all the close friends, coworkers, and family that I have tortured with stories of our light balls, I assure you.. I will stop this discussion after Christmas. Maybe.
Back to the beginning of this story… finally this year Oak offered to help with the exterior holiday lighting efforts, so I thought this is my chance for some balls. Yeah, get your mid out of the gutter. Or, be prepared to make about 900 dirty jokes while you create these objets d’art.
I did a quick google search on how to make them, figuring I would need to go on some kind of crazy hunt for a sphere made out of twigs or something. But, lo and behold, I came across this site. It explains that you can use chicken wire to make the bases of the balls! Turns out, a community in semi-nearby Greensboro does these lighted balls on a grand scheme every year! Their display is so grand, people donate food to the food bank as a charity and they have received over 5000 pounds of donations in food in past years! So, clearly, I’m not the only one who enjoys some light balls.
Anyway, the site has extremely detailed instructions, and even a video,on how to make your own light balls using chicken wire and regular old strings of lights.
Purchasing the lights were an interesting part of the equation. Originally I thought we should do white lights, because we already have white lights around our door. However, none of the stores we went to (Walmart, Target, Kmart, Home depot..) HAD any white lights. Apparently the are a hot and/or understocked item this season. So, we decided to buy some strings of multicolored lights and mix them with some we already had.
They are really pretty easy. The most expensive part of this project, we soon discovered, is the extension cords. We had to get a long cord to go from the house to the big Oak tree in the front, and then another cord with an “octopus” of connectors to hook all the balls up. We made 6 balls this year, but hopefully in the future years to come we can start expanding the collection.
And, it turns out, I like these colored balls a lot. I think they really sparkle and bring interesting depth that white lights probably would have lacked. I highly suggest you try to make some. They definitely have me in more of the holiday spirit! Merry Christmas and happy new year
Since the crafty zone is slowly but surely somewhat coming together, I felt compelled to create a diaper cake for Alex and Virginia’s baby shower. They’re having a baby girl so I used pink scrapbook paper (OK… I also almost never use pink scrapbook paper, so it was a good opportunity to use it!). The farm animals were of course, purchased… and inside the cake was a baby bottle and some “butt paste”. Yeah. Baby stuff has the stupidest cutesy names!
This entire process was definitely a learning experience… we spent time in the diaper aisle, trying to find newborn-sized diapers. Apparently this is easier said than done (I think maybe super double coupon week at the grocery store did not help the situation), so the cake ended up with size 2 diapers. Oh well, I guess now the baby can enjoy the cake for a few months before disassembling it.. haha.
It was pretty easy and fun to make – only took me a few late evenings to finish. If you’re finding it necessary to make your own diaper cake, you can check out the tutorial on Susie Stampsalot’s page.
I did pretty much the same thing but used yarn instead of rubber bands to hold the rolled diapers because I had no idea where our rubber bands were. Also, instead of buying a cake round I cut my own using cardboard and the circle cutter we have for drywall. Yeah, I had to add a “man tool” aspect to this project..hahaha
So yeah, there’s my first ever diaper cake. Diaper-licious!
I’ve been wading through the world wide web (haha.. does anyone actually call it that anymore?) searching for the most useful blogs and sites on scrapbooking. I’m still working on narrowing this list down to what I want to regularly read, but here are two keepers:
ScrapHappy – Laine is one of those scrapbook industry folks, but I enjoy her blog because she posts her real layouts (as opposed to those that are magazine-worthy and take 6 hours to make) and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She also has a podcast that’s fun to listen to.
Craft critique – The world of scrapbooking tools can be both intimidating and confusing. Craft critique regularly reviews these tools and explains exactly what you do with them. (No more wondering if the crop-a-dile is a castration device, or if fastenator is meant for good or evil). It’s not all scrapbooking stuff, but it’s fun to read the reviews either way.
See the scrapbooking tag on my del.ici.ous links for all the links I’m collecting.. some are just links to certain ideas instead of an entire site/blog. Good stuff! Now if I can only remember some of this stuff when I’m actually “cropping”..
Well, after the glitter pumpkin experience at Halloween, I was addicted to Martha Stewart glitter. The December issue of Blueprint (soon to be defunct, *sob*) had this glitter candle idea. And, all I could think was — yes.. more glitter.
So, among all of the other handmade gifts from this year (most of which I didn’t get a picture… whoops), I made these glitter candles. I used mod podge instead of spray adhesive… I also put a layer on top of the glitter to hopefully prevent some shedding. We shall see. Now, hopefully they aren’t a fire hazard…. hopefully the blueprint people tested this out for me already..
I’ve been trying to get back into making my scrapbooks, as I have about 2 years of stuff to catch up on. I finished scrapbooking our wedding and honeymoon pictures, but I’ve still got stuff from 2005 waiting to be done. So I’ve gotten some new “scrapbooking toys” that I’m enjoying – letter stickers, chalk, a nice pair of scissors, some letter stamps.. makes the whole process a little more creative and fun with more tools. Anyway, I was reading the forum on scrapbook.com, and I found this thread that mentioned about how HP’s website has a whole section on scrapbooking!
I’m not particularly interested in the whole “digital scrapbooking” phenomenon, where you make the whole scrapbook pages in Photoshop and then print them out… though I think I’d enjoy it, I try to take scrapbooking as some time away from the computer!
But, some of the ideas on the HP activity center might be enough for me to give the “combined digital and regular” scrapbooking idea a try. Especially interesting is this information on how to emboss with your inkjet printer. Another idea I’ve seen is to print out letters backwards on a sheet of paper, and then cut them out with a craft knife, and you’ll have your own custom title for the page.
Another techy-related scrapbooking item I found was this ScraPerfect, which will prime any surface for printing in an inkjet printer. Supposedly with it, you can print on slick vellum, regular transparencies, ribbon, and all sorts of stuff.